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East County News Service

March 20, 2017 (Washington D.C.) -- The Federal Reserve has raised interest rates by as quarter of a point, the second increase in three months. But rates are still at a historic low range of 0.75 to 1 percent.

The hike means consumers will pay more for credit cards and home equity lines of credit and adjustable rate mortgages, but fixed rate mortgages and car loans are not expected to be affected since the anticipated change has already been calculated into those. People will also earn slightly more on savings accounts.

The feds justified the raise based on positive economic signs including a stronger job market and increased consumer confidence.

The feds forecast projects a total of three rate hikes this year, with the next increase not expected until summer. They project growth of 2.1 percent this year, still under the 4 percent that President Donald Trump has predicted his administration policies will attain.